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Dec 092013

Well it’s official: Everyone’s favorite pizza scarfing striker will return to Columbus. Per league and club policy, terms were not disclosed.

(That “policy” gets me every time!)

It is unfortunate that we have to wait for the MLS Players Union to publish individual salaries, but such is life for supporters of MLS clubs. Personally, I’ll be waiting on pins and needles to find out just how much Dominic Oduro is guaranteed next season. I don’t have an issue with the team re-signing him, but the amount they’ve guaranteed him will go a long way in determining whether or not this was a good decision. Remember, this is a team trying to rebuild under a brand new regime and they just gave a 28 year old striker a multi-year deal.

Why am I so concerned? Let’s look at Oduro’s career numbers (all competitions)…

2006-2008 (FC Dallas)- 9 goals, 79 appearances

2009 (New York)- 0 goals, 5 appearances

2009-11 (Houston)- 10 goals, 54 appearances

2011-12 (Chicago)- 20 goals, 68 appearances

The guy hasn’t exactly been an efficient scorer. And to put those numbers in context, Oduro’s 2013 tally of 13 league goals broke his previous career high of 12. What was his highest total in one season prior to that? 6 goals. You don’t have to be a math major to figure out that Oduro has been the definition of “inconsistent” over the course of his entire career. He just turned 28 in August, so it’s fair to think he’s in the midst of his prime. I don’t blame the Crew for giving him a multi-year deal, but I think there’s a salary threshold they shouldn’t have crossed. Oduro was guaranteed $125K this past season. I’d say that’s pretty fair for a guy with just one double digit season in his career.

If it were me, I wouldn’t have given him more than $175K. There are people out there who can break down the financials more in depth, but that’s my ballpark guess as to how much is “too much”. Oduro also has a history of fitness issues, having missed significant time while in Houston. He stayed healthy in Chicago, but managed just six goals in a full season with the Fire prior to joining Columbus. Even if he’s in his “prime” at the age of 28, I’m going to assume his goal total takes a drop in 2014; whether he misses time due to injury or not. Let’s be generous and say he plays in every game in 2014, just as he did in 2013, but only scores 9 goals. Suddenly the Crew need some help again, right? After all, the offense wasn’t exactly top of the league even with Oduro’s 13 goals this past season. But how can they pay for goal-scoring help if they’ve already spent more than $175K on Oduro? Based upon the team’s (admittedly “fluffy”) announcement of Oduro’s new deal, I think it’s safe to assume they think he is their No.1 guy going forward into 2014, if not 2015 as well.

So now you’ve paid a significant amount of money to one player who has scored more than 6 goals just twice in 8 seasons; one of which was this past season. He’s 28 so you assume maybe he has 2-3 good seasons left in him, but “good” is based upon his history and his history says to expect closer to 8 goals per season over the next 2-3 seasons. Does that sound like someone you’re happy to pay more than $175K for?

I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but you can’t ignore Oduro’s history. It’s hard to believe he’ll top 10 goals next season. I’m glad the Crew brought him back, I just hope they haven’t overpaid for one good season.


Adam Uthe

VP of Content Development for GFT and proud supporter of Columbus Crew (MLS) and Liverpool FC (EPL). @AUtheGFT

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